Annan calls on rich and poor countries to agree on UN reform

Iran Materials 12 June 2006 15:42 (UTC +04:00)

(AFP) - United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan called on rich and developing countries to reach agreement on a UN reform plan so as not to paralyze the international body.

In an article in the Financial Times, he said: "It is time for those who really care about reform to come together and form a new coalition - one that bridges the artificial, destructive divide between north and south and brings together all those who are willing to work together because they share the vision of a UN that really works, for the benefit of all the world's peoples."

"Surely governments can agree on how to make these reforms happen without bringing the whole organization to a halt," Annan wrote, reports Trend.

"The reform blueprint that I put forward last year reminded us all that the UN is founded on three legs - development, collective security and human rights. And like

any good chair they need a fourth: management reform."

He went on: "Last December, member states adopted a budget for the current "biennium" (2006-2007), but gave us authority to spend only enough to carry us through the first six months.

"The main contributors, led by the US, insisted that this spending cap should be lifted only when there is significant progress on UN reform. We are now perilously near the deadline and it is far from clear that enough reform to satisfy them has been achieved. Neither side has found a way of engaging with the other to agree on further reforms."

The secretary general concluded: "It is in all member states' interest to keep the UN running and adapt it to the specific work they want it to do. That means both sides in the argument need to turn down their rhetoric and engage in serious negotiations to work out a sensible compromise now as a basis for more fundamental change later."